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Lewis impressed by Serena's Wimbledon run

By Randall MellJuly 13, 2018, 1:20 am

Stacy Lewis is inspired by Serena Williams’ run at winning an eighth Wimbledon.

Lewis is making her last start of the year at this week’s Marathon Classic before taking time off to prepare to give birth to her first child, a daughter. Lewis is due in November.

Williams won her semifinal match Thursday to advance to Saturday’s final against Angelique Kerber. Williams is seeking her eighth Wimbledon title just 10 months removed from giving birth to her first child, who came in a difficult delivery that left Williams dealing with blood clots and a medical crisis.

Williams is seeking her 24th Grand Slam title in just her fourth start since giving birth.

“This is not inevitable for me,” Williams told reporters after her semifinal victory. “I had a really tough delivery and multiple surgeries and almost didn’t make it, to be honest. I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox. So, it’s definitely not normal for me to be in a Wimbledon final.

“I’m enjoying every moment.”

Lewis, who opened with a 3-under-par 68 Thursday, leaving her just three shots off the lead, is paying attention to Williams’ impressive return to tennis.

“That’s awesome,” Lewis said. “It’s cool to see her get her body back so quick. It's encouraging for me to know that it's not going to take that long, and that you can do it. It's going to be hard, but you can do it. It's just cool to see her doing it for all the moms out there.”


Full-field scores from the Marathon Classic


Lewis is playing around her emerging baby bump with a special caddie this week. Her husband, Gerrod Chadwell, the women’s golf coach at the University of Houston, is on her bag. Her long-time caddie, Travis Wilson, is at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, toting for his aunt, seven-time LPGA winner Tammie Green-Parker.

How did the husband/caddie deal work?

“We're good,” Lewis said. “It was a little difficult, just to get in a rhythm and figure out how we were going to work together, but got into a rhythm there on the back nine and played some good golf.”

Lewis is adjusting to more than a new caddie. She’s adjusting to a changing body.

“It definitely feels a little different,” she said. “I noticed a few things today. I had to get the rib cage down, and the hips were kind of going a different direction. So just little things I have to adjust every day. We had made a little adjustment to the putting, because of the belly, little adjustments here and there. But I feel like I can still play some pretty good golf.”

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Stock Watch: Up or down for FedExCup changes?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 18, 2018, 2:20 pm

Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

RISING

Angela Stanford (+9%): In this era of youthful dominance, Justin Rose and now Stanford offer reminders that sometimes the long, winding journey is even more rewarding. It took Rose 20 years to reach world No. 1; for Stanford, she needed 76 major starts (and 15 years after a major playoff loss) before she finally became a Grand Slam winner, at age 40.

Sang-Moon Bae (+6%): The next time you complain about losing your game after a few weeks away, remember that the two-time Tour winner shelved his clubs for TWO YEARS to fulfill his South Korean military obligations and then regained his card. That’s a heckuva achievement.

FedExCup changes (+5%): Though the Tour Championship shouldn’t count as an official victory – come on, the playoffs leader has a TEN-SHOT head start over No. 26! – the strokes-based system is no doubt easier to follow than the various points fluctuations. RIP, Steve Sands’ whiteboard.

Tyler McCumber (+3%): Maybe he’s on his way to challenging his famous father, who won 10 times on the PGA Tour. A three-time winner this season in Canada, McCumber clinched Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year honors and will be one to watch next year on the Web.

Matthew Wolff (+2%): The reigning NCAA Freshman of the Year is now 2-for-2 this season, winning at both Pebble Beach and Olympia Fields with a 67.2 scoring average. He’s a primetime player.  


FALLING

Amy Olson (-1%): To win a major most need to have their heart broken at least once … but that ugly 72nd-hole double bogey could linger for longer than she probably hoped.  

Lexi (-2%): As heartwarming as it was to watch Stanford snap her major-less drought, keep in mind that the best U.S. player – the 23-year-old Thompson – next April will be five years removed from her lone LPGA major title.

Web final (-3%): Twenty-five Tour cards will be on the line this week at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship, but here’s guessing you won’t even notice – for some reason, it conflicts with the big tour’s season finale. Why couldn’t this have been played last week, when the Tour was dark and the Web could get some much-needed exposure?

Player of the Year debate (-5%): As much as the Tour might promote otherwise during its big-money conclusion, Justin Thomas said it best on Twitter: Majors trump all. It’s Brooks Koepka’s trophy this year.  

Repairing damage (-6%): Golf’s governing bodies are confident that the new rules (out Jan. 1!) will speed up pace of play, but it’s hard to see how that’s possible when they now will allow players to tap down spike marks on the green. With $1 million and major titles on the line, you don’t think guys will spend an extra minute or two gardening?

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FedExCup gets massive overhaul for next season

By Rex HoggardSeptember 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

ATLANTA – The PGA Tour unveiled more dramatic changes to the FedExCup and its playoffs on Tuesday, outlining a new model to determine the season-long champion and giving a boost to the circuit’s regular season.

Starting next year when the Tour transitions from four post-season events to three, the FedExCup champion will be determined solely on the outcome at the Tour Championship, with players beginning the week at East Lake with a predetermined total based on their position on the points list.

The No. 1 player on the post-season points list will begin the finale at 10 under par. The next four players will start at 8 under through 5 under, respectively, while Nos. 6-10 will begin the tournament at 4 under par with the total regressing by one stroke every five players with those ranked 26th through 30th starting at even par. The winner at East Lake will also claim the FedExCup.


Current FedExCup standings

Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos


The new system removes the confusing calculations that have highlighted the finale since the season-long race began in 2007 and avoids awkward moments like last year when Xander Schauffele won the Tour Championship but Justin Thomas claimed the FedExCup.

“As soon as the Tour Championship begins, any fan – no matter if they’ve followed the PGA Tour all season or are just tuning in for the final event – can immediately understand what’s going on and what’s at stake for every single player in the field,” commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.

A player’s rank on the points list will be based on their play in the first two playoff events, The Northern Trust (125 players) and BMW Championship (70 players), and a victory at East Lake will count as an official triumph, although it remains to be seen if players will receive world ranking points at what is essentially a handicapped event.

The Tour also announced the addition of a regular-season bonus pool called the Wyndham Rewards Top 10. The $10 million bonus pool will be based on regular-season performance, with the No. 1 player on the points list after the Wyndham Championship, the final regular-season event, earning $2 million.

In addition to the format changes at the Tour Championship and regular-season race, Monahan announced that the FedExCup bonus pool will increase to $70 million, up from $35 million, with the champion receiving $15 million.

“Now is the time to make these changes,” Monahan said, “and thanks to significant input in the process by our players, partners and fans, I believe we’re making exactly the right moves.”

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Congressional to host 2031 PGA, 2036 Ryder Cup

By Will GraySeptember 18, 2018, 12:51 pm

The PGA of America announced that Congressional Country Club will host a number of its biggest events over the next two decades, including the 2031 PGA Championship and 2036 Ryder Cup.

Located near Washington, D.C., Congressional hosted the 1976 PGA Championship when Dave Stockton won. But it's perhaps more well known in recent years as a USGA venue, having hosted three U.S. Opens including 1964 (Ken Venturi), 1997 (Ernie Els) and 2011 (Rory McIlroy). The course also hosted the Quicken Loans National seven times between 2007-2016.

But the famed Blue Course will now become a PGA of America venue, and down the line will host the organization's two biggest events. Before that, Congressional will be home to the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in both 2022 and 2027, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in 2025 and 2033, the Junior PGA Championship in 2024 and the PGA Professional Championship in 2029.

The announcement is a win for golf fans in the nation's capital, as the area lost its regular PGA Tour stop when the former Quicken Loans National ended this summer. Quicken Loans will sponsor the new Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit beginning in 2019.

The Wanamaker Trophy will again be up for grabs at Congressional in 2031, adding to the long list of already confirmed future PGA Championship venues. The event now has only three open dates (2025, 2026, 2030) before 2032, but has already promised one of those available spots to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.

The biggest prize may require the longest wait, as Congressional will host the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2036. It's the third time in less than a year that the PGA has locked in a future Ryder Cup site, having added Hazeltine (2028) earlier this year and Olympic (2032) in November. The 2020 matches will be held at Whistling Straits, while the 2024 matches will go to Bethpage Black.

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Montana parents must pay to watch high school matches

By Will GraySeptember 18, 2018, 12:22 pm

Parents of Montana high school golfers can once again watch their kids during matches - for a price.

Late last year the Montana State High School Association enacted a rule banning spectators from watching high school golf "except for certain locations." That led to an uproar from local parents, who pointed out that parents of athletes in other sports have no such troubles watching their kids in action.

The MSHSA has amended the rule according to the Montana Sidney Herald, allowing spectators on the course as long as they turn cell phones off, stay at least 40 yards away from players and refrain from offering advice. But they'll also have to fork over some cash, as spectators will be asked to pay $10 in exchange for a badge they'll be required to wear "at all times that they are on the course."

"We will try it at all levels and see how it goes," said executive board vice president Luke Kloker. "Every other state seems to be able to figure out how to make it work."

According to the report, only two states currently do not allow spectators on the course during high school matches. The new policy will be considered a "pilot program," going into effect for the fall postseason and also extending to the spring season.